Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Frosty Days

It's been a cold week so far, with a sparkly frost most mornings. A close look at the garden has shown some beautifully intricate patterns and shapes outlined by the frost. These ferns look quite spectacular with their frosty edges.

Dead leaves suddenly look prettier, as if they've been dipped in icing.

The grass is crisp and crunches underfoot, reminding me of the grass made of mint sugar in Willy Wonka's factory in 'Charlie and the Chocolate factory'.

The cold air stings my face, and my breath makes little white clouds in front of me. The rosemary looks wonderfully spiky and brittle, as if it could easily snap.

And the hart's tongue fern has undulating crinkly edges.

The slate tiles on the roofs sparkle under a dusting of white, and I feel sorry for the starlings, crows and pigeons who sit on the rooftops and telephone wires on cold mornings.

I feed the birds all year round, but make a special effort in the wintertime. Food is scarce as most of the berries, seeds and nuts are eaten now. This is a new bird table, as our old one blew over and broke in the high winds we had last year. I get such a lot of pleasure from feeding birds - it's important to help them survive, and when I catch a glimpse of them it's quite magical.

Starlings love the coconut half with suet
 and seeds in it, and peck at it with their long pointy beaks.

 They are a very sociable bird, gathering together in groups chattering and bickering. In the winter their plumage is especially attractive, iridescent and shiny.


In both the front and back gardens I hang several fat balls, which many birds like. At this time of year I refill them every few days.

The cherry tree makes an excellent feeding station.

Last year I made a list of birds which come to the garden. They include:
blue tits
great tits
long tailed tits
coal tits

and these rather sweet collared doves who always visit in pairs.

My pictures are a little fuzzy as I'm not the best bird photographer - they always seem to fly away just as I get my camera out! Here is a photo from last spring of a pair of goldfinches on the feeder. I haven't seen any this winter, but am so looking forward to seeing their bright, colourful, almost exotic plumage again in our garden. That flash of red and yellow is unmistakeable.

And so, while I dream of warmer days in the middle of January we console ourselves with hot mugs of cocoa, and extra blankets on our beds - a treat on a cold winter's evening!


  1. Beautiful pictures of your lovely, feathery friends. The hot chocolate looks delicious!

  2. Love the 'His and Hers' stripy mugs! Our bird feeders are on our cherry tree too - they're obviously well suited to it. A great idea to make a list of visitors; I'll have to try it this year. Beautiful frosty photos. x

  3. It is wonderful! This year here in Milan the weather is not cold, Iove icy day and snow, but nothing only rain! I love birds and at our mountain house there are the same like in your country. I like feed them and watch them behind the windows: they are always a couple. Have a nice thursday!
    Isabella. ( sorry by my english! )

  4. Your pics are lovely !!!! I love frosty days !!! Have a nice day !

  5. I like a frosty day, it does make everything slightly more prettier doesn't it!

  6. Fabulous photos, I adore Goldfinches, we have quite a group of them that fly around here but I'm never quick enough to snap them! Suzy xo

  7. These birds are so lovely! I wonder how they keep warm, they are so small, and no AC:-)

  8. I love the way leaves get the most delicate frost filigree edging- it definitely elevates winter from dreary to magic xx

  9. those frosty plants are so lovely! I love the coconut idea. We make our own suet cakes - I will have to remember this the next time we have a coconut.

    1. Hi Kate, thank you for visiting my blog. I made suet cakes years ago for the birds - will have to try it again sometime :)
      Cathy x

  10. Hello House with the blue door! Beautiful pictures and the birds are so lovely. A hot chocolate is very delicious on a chilly day!


    1. Hello Sandra, thank you for dropping by. It's lovely to meet you :)
      Cathy x

  11. Your frosty pictures are lovely. The fern leaves look amazing! I too have difficulty capturing the birds they move so fast! Sarah x

  12. Thank you, Sarah - they are tricky, aren't they?:)
    Cathy x

  13. We have the same birds on our table, though not the collared doves. I've seen a jay a few times in the garden, though not on the birdtable; very pretty with their flash of blue. Those frosty ferns are beautiful! Jen


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